Tag Archives: Mountains

Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City by Scooter – Part 4

I’ve recently ridden the length of Vietnam on a Scooter.

Incase you missed them:
Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City by Scooter – Part 1
Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City by Scooter – Part 2
Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City by Scooter – Part 3

wpid-img_2370-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

Day 18 – Nha Trang to Da Lat – 139km
Da Lat is in the southern highlands and is my first foray from the coast since my rained out trip to Tham Duc. This time the weather was amazing, with cloudless blue skies. Nha Trang’s crazy traffic was something I was grateful to leave and as I rode away from AH1 I rejoiced in the lack of roadworks and trucks.

wpid-dscf7119-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

The road was one of the best so far as it slowly climbed into the mountains to a height of around 1500 metres. It got colder the higher I went and especially so when I was not in direct sunlight. I stopped for a break at an empty lot with a solitary tree that caught my inspiration.

wpid-dscf7121-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

Most days I only pass one or two other tourist riders. Today I counted somewhere around 35 tourist bikes, many with passengers. I expected Da Lat to be a small mountain town but instead found a city surrounded by vast valleys of greenhouses. But then, it is the flower capital of Vietnam. While the motorcycle traffic was crazy, the city has a beautiful lake at its centre, along with pink blooming cherry trees.

wpid-dscf7191-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

Day 19 – Da Lat Countryside Tour
For only the second time on this trip I booked a tour, desiring to be driven around for a change. Our first stop was a flower farm, busy because of Valentine’s day and Chinese New Year.

wpid-dscf7130-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

Then it was off to a coffee plantation where we got to try Weasel Coffee. Weasel coffee turned out to be the Luwak coffee I’d tried in Indonesia. Apparently the Vietnamese only have one word which means both Asian Palm Civet and Weasel. We then stopped at a silk processing factory, where they create silk thread from silkworm cocoons. It was here we ate roasted silk worm. Not something you do everyday, or probably want to ever do again…

wpid-dscf7148-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

We also visited the Hang Nga Guesthouse, also known as ‘the crazy house’. Built by a local architect the house has many walkways, some going over the rooftops or across the yards. The guesthouse is so popular that bookings are required months in advance. The owner has purchased several houses in the adjacent block and is in the process of adding them to the initial house.

wpid-dscf7180-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

Day 20 – Da Lat to Phan Thiet – 159km
Coming down from the highlands saw an interesting change in temperatures. The long windproof pants, shoes and socks, jumper and windproof jacket became too hot. As I got closer to Pan Thiet I had to pull over and take off the jumper, but was still hot.

On a side note, hotels in Vietnam can be fairly cheap. This is what US$8.90 gets you.

wpid-dscf7245-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

This includes cable TV, air con, double bed, ensuite bathroom, bar fridge and high-speed wireless internet. They aren’t luxury resorts and there’s no view, but you don’t really need these things when you’re either out exploring or sleeping.

Day 21 – Mui Ne Beach – 36km Round Trip
Eighteen kilometres from Phan Thiet is the popular tourist beach town of Mui Ne. Like Nha Trang, it’s very popular with Russian tourists, but while this seems to put some people off, I have no trouble with attractive Russian women. Exploring the area, I rode around several beautiful beaches (all unfortunately with their share of rubbish).

wpid-dscf7213-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

I also found another Cham tower ruin similar to the one in Nha Trang.

wpid-dscf7201-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

And I walked for a kilometre along the ankle-deep Fairy Springs. The red water leads through some very interesting formations in the white rock and orange sands.

wpid-dscf7222-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

Day 22 – Phan Thiet to Vung Tau – 167km
Today was so hot I wore shorts and a t-shirt instead of my full riding gear. The road followed Vietnam’s southern coast with plentiful beaches. Then, not far from my destination I had bike troubles again and I stopped to get it fixed. That brings my total bike issues to eight.

I liked Vung Tau and wished I could have stayed longer, but with an expiring Visa I was running out of time. Even with the bike troubles, I still had time to explore the peninsula, and found this statue of Christ on one of the clifftops, listed as the 8th most famous Christ statue in the world.

wpid-dscf7240-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

On a hill at the other end of the peninsula I found a large statue of St Mary beside the St Mary’s Church…

wpid-dscf7230-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

They like putting things on hills here, as there are ones with sitting buddhas, temples, towers and no doubt others. Then out on the water, there’s a temple out on a small island which includes a pair of bunkers from the war.

wpid-dscf7244-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

Day 23 – Vung Tau to Ho Chi Minh City – 116km
Today was to be a short day, but it just wasn’t to be. While the bike gave me little trouble, it was my replacement phone that sent me off along the wrong path before freezing until an hour later when I managed to find my own way to the main highway. From there it was fairly straight forward all the way to the hotel, passing what I call the Face of Saigon, an attraction at the Soui Tien Cultural Amusement Park.

wpid-dscf7252-2015-02-13-19-39.jpg

While I’ve enjoyed this experience greatly, the problems with my bike have given me enough frustration that I’m glad it’s come to an end.

Vietnam South1

Next, I explore Ho Chi Minh City and make preparations to sell my scooter.

The Lone Trail Wanderer

Advertisements

Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City by Scooter – Part 2

I’m currently riding the length of Vietnam on a Scooter. Here’s Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City by Scooter – Part 1 if you missed it.

wpid-img_2370-2015-01-31-21-45.jpg

Day 6 – Hong Linh to Dong Hui – 223km
While the more direct route would have been about 50km shorter, today I wanted ride the Ho Chi Minh highway for the first time. This highway follows the Ho Chi Minh Trail used during the American War with amazing mountainous scenery. The weather remained fairly good, although I had to stop to put pack-covers on my bags when a particularly nasty cloud threatened, but nothing came of it.

wpid-dscf6921-2015-01-31-21-45.jpg

I arrived at Dong Hui and after getting settled into my hostel, took a ride around a city that had been laid waste during the war. Dong Hui is virtually a new city, as there’s little left of how it was. The city isn’t on the tourist route and the beautiful empty beaches were serene.

wpid-dscf6932-2015-01-31-21-45.jpg

Day 7 – Dong Hui to Hue – 176km
Today started out with blue skies over the ocean but began turning sour after half an hour out from Dong Hui. While it didn’t actually rain, it seriously threatened to. With heavy black clouds further inland, I decided to take a more direct route to Hue. I’m not sure which would have been the lesser of the two evils, getting rained on or riding through the constant road works every 2km. To make it worse, the roads were jammed with trucks spraying up dust and sand from the road works. Before lunch I rode through the Demilitarized Zone, crossing out of what was North Vietnam and into South Vietnam, stopping at the War Memorial Monument.

wpid-dscf6947-2015-01-31-21-45.jpg

Then as I arrived on the outskirts of Hue, I crossed another milestone, my 1000th kilometre on the road since leaving Hanoi. Later in the afternoon, I walked around the ruins of the Imperial City and at its centre, the forbidden Purple City. it was home to the ruling dynasty between 1800 and 1950, when Hue was the Vietnam’s capital.

wpid-dscf6980-2015-01-31-21-45.jpg

Day 8 – Hue Rest Day
There are many stories of motorcycles that break down regularly on this trip through Vietnam. While often cheap to repair because most Vietnamese boys over the age of 12 can fix them, it’s inconvenient. To date I’ve suffered only a flat tyre and in hopes of staving off any other issues, I got the scooter serviced. While the bike was away, I took the day off and just hung around the hostel.

Day 9 – Hue to Hoi An – 130km
Since the ride to Hoi An was to shorter than average, I decided to see more of the sights around Hue before heading on. I found the Thien Mu Temple and Pagoda a little away from the Imperial Palace and stopped for a look.

wpid-dscf6985-2015-01-31-21-45.jpg

Around Hue, there several tombs belonging to the emperors who ruled from Hue. I took some time to visit the closest one to town – Tu Duc Tomb – and was surprised at how large the area was. The location was called the Second Imperial City as the emperor used it as his ‘man cave’ to get away from affairs of home and state.

wpid-dscf6990-2015-01-31-21-45.jpg

After my visit I headed to Hoi An, but on the way disaster struck. An hour out of Hue I got a flat tyre, then only a minute away from where the puncture was repaired, the engine cut out and wouldn’t start again. The ‘mechanic’ who fixed my tyre and who didn’t speak any english informed me I needed a new carburetor. Ninety minutes and a million Dong (US$47) later I was back on the road. So much for servicing it to prevent it breaking down. I continued on, crossing the Hai Van Pass and eventually arrived in Hoi An two hours later than expected.

Day 10 – Exploring Hoi An
Like Hue, Hoi An is a popular tourist spot. After breakfast, I headed out on the bike to a location called My Son where there are the ruins of an old Hindu temple complex. Of the buildings, some have barely a column standing while others are in the process of being rebuilt.

wpid-dscf7029-2015-01-31-21-45.jpg

I then rode into Da Nang, a city north of Hoi An, to a place called the Marble Mountains. Atop the monolithic mountains is a large buddhist temple complex with plentiful adjoining caves.

wpid-marble-mountains-vietnam-visa-on-arrival-2015-01-31-21-45.jpg

The Marble Mountains give great views along My Khe Beach, as 30 km stretch of nicknamed China Beach by the Americans during the war. It was used as both an evacuation hospital area and site for rest and recreation during the war.

wpid-dscf7059-2015-01-31-21-45.jpg

Day 11 – Hoi An Rest Day
As I had spent a lot of time on my bike around Hoi An yesterday, I decided to take the day off and just relax around Hoi An, so I did.

Vietnam Central1

In Part 3, I head south into the Vietnamese highlands.

The Lone Trail Wanderer

Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City by Scooter – Part 1

Riding a motorbike the length of Vietnam is becoming a popular way to see the country. After hearing about a fellow traveller’s motorcycle adventure from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City I decided to do it. So I bought a scooter in Hanoi and prepared for an adventure that would take the better part of three weeks.

wpid-img_2370-2015-01-25-20-19.jpg

Here’s a brief breakdown of my trip…

Day 1 – Hanoi to Ha Long Bay – 167km
Ha Long Bay is a tourist destination not traditionally part of the Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City route, but I added it anyway. It would give me a chance to test my scooter over long distance.

The main highway is well maintained and once I was out of the super bustle of Hanoi it was even relaxing. With my speed averaging between 50 and 60 kilometre per hour, a good speed without pushing the scooter, the trip took about 5 hours. With a terribly sore arse and only 5km short of my hotel I discovered I had a flat tyre. A friendly local offered to fix it for me for US$5.

Later, after checking into my hotel I went for a ride to have a look around the city and book a cruise.

wpid-dscf6797-2015-01-25-20-19.jpg

Day 2 – Ha Long Bay Boat Cruise
It was a misty, overcast day for my cruise. But being the middle of winter all is forgiven. Ha Long Bay means literally ‘descending dragon bay’ and has around 1600 limestone monoliths scattered around it. While it was chilly out on the water and the skies grey, the views were still amazing. Mist hung around the monoliths giving the bay both an eerie and magical appearance.

wpid-dscf6835-2015-01-25-20-19.jpg

The tour took us to some interesting places and we got to walk through the depths of Thien Cung Grotto, a large touristy cave system where many sections were lit up in colours.

wpid-dscf6821-2015-01-25-20-19.jpg

We also visited a floating village, a fish market and a pair of small monoliths called Fighting Cock Rocks, which from certain angles look vaguely like a pair of chickens fighting.

Day 3 – Ha Long Bay to Ninh Binh – 175km
On several occasions during today’s ride it threatened to rain, but other than vaguely spitting, nothing came of it. Today, when my arse began to get sore, I stopped and got off the bike for a bit. Five minute every hour seemed to work well.

I arrived in Ninh Binh on time and after settling in the hotel, I headed out to explore. I found a place called Bich Dong Pagoda, which is a buddhist temple set into the side of a limestone mountain.

wpid-dscf6872-2015-01-25-20-19.jpg

I followed a path into the cave, up a long set of stairs to a higher cave and a shrine, outside and up another set of stairs to another building which offered great views. A thin trail lead up around behind this building and ever curious, I had a look. Thirty minutes later, I’d climbed the jagged rocks of the mountain and stood at the top looking out over monoliths surrounded by wet rice paddies.

wpid-dscf6881-2015-01-25-20-19.jpg

Day 4 – Ninh Binh to Thanh Hoa/Sam Son Beach – 64km

The weather has been overcast for much of my time in Vietnam, clearing up a little in the afternoons. Today, however, I awoke to blue skies. This decided my next stop. The beach. The ride was barely longer than an hour and as I arrived in Thanh Hoa, I discovered the huge Thien view Truc Lam Ham Rong temple and pagoda on a hill.

wpid-dscf6892-2015-01-25-20-19.jpg

Then when I was settled into the hotel, where beyond the word ‘hello’ no-one could speak English, I was back on the bike and rode the 13km out to Sam Son beach. While the skies were bare of clouds, the beach was virtually empty. Winter. I rode around the Sam Son area for some time, discovering a large portion of the beach front is a construction zone. Dozens of brick buildings are in the process of being demolished, likely to build more resorts.

wpid-dscf6895-2015-01-25-20-19.jpg

Day 5 – Thanh Hoa to Hong Linh – 174km

Today’s five hour ride was fairly straightforward. In the small town of Hong Linh, I arrived at my hotel to find the years had not been kind to it. Seven years ago, a flood struck the town, possibly flooding the lower levels and killing the hotel’s business. After settling in, I took a ride around town and stopped to admire the local catholic church.

wpid-dscf6907-2015-01-25-20-19.jpg

Compared to the rest of Asia, Vietnam has a lot of churches. You can see their spires as you approach each city and town. In comparison, there are very few buddhist temples, although most houses still have shrines.

Vietnam North1

In Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City by Scooter – Part 2, I travel into Central Vietnam and explore the areas struck hardest by the American War.

The Lone Trail Wanderer

Mapping My Journey So Far

Sixteen months on the road is a long time. During that time I covered quite a distance and did many things. While I’ve been ‘resting’ in the United Kingdom, I’ve put together a step by step rundown of my trip including maps.

South East Australia

wpid-seaustralia-2014-05-8-14-57.jpg

In a van called the Pointy Brick I…

Antarctica, Chile and Argentina

wpid-southernsouthamerica-2014-05-8-14-57.jpg

From Brisbane, I flew to Auckland and spent 3 weeks with family before flying to South America where I…

Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador

wpid-northernsouthamerica-2014-05-8-14-57.jpg

From Buenos Aires I…

Colombia, Central America and Mexico

wpid-centralamerica-2014-05-8-14-57.jpg

From Ecuador I…

The Full Map. May take some time to load.

wpid-ajtravelmap3-2014-05-8-14-57.jpg

The World Wanderer

Looking Back, Central America

While it took ten months to work my way up the massive continent of South America, three months seemed only a short time to explore the Central America sub-continent even though it’s barely larger than Colombia. But since I was in the neighbourhood…

wpid-04838a73ba16566078c9dbd7f4f662c1-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Panama

San Blas Islands

With no straightforward bus route from Colombia to Panama, I chose a five-day cruise through the San Blas Islands, finishing in Panama City. The San Blas Islands are a glorious chain of islands in the Caribbean Sea, but make sure you do your research as the cruises aren’t always up to standard.

wpid-dscf3016-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Panama City

After so long in South America Panama City feels a little like home with its massive skyscrapers, malls, cinemas and fast food chains. When travelling long-term you lose the sense of time and on arrival in Panama days before Christmas I forget that it was prime holiday season for the locals. With most of the holiday destinations booked solid and long lines to get on any buses, I decided to spend the holidays hanging around the city. While there I visited the colonial old quarter of Casco Viejo, the canal and the ruins of Panama Viejo.

wpid-dscf3062-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Being in Panama City feels like being in the United States. There are so many Americans and I rarely needed to use my spanish skills as most people spoke english.

wpid-p1000006-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Bocas del Toro

After the holiday break I headed west to Bocas del Toro, an archipelago on the border of Costa Rica. In the surf/party town I took the opportunity to spend a day on a catamaran snorkelling around the reefs and another sitting in a hammock at the hostel.

wpid-p1000110-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Boquete

Then taking a chicken bus, I spent three days in the cooler climes of the mountain town of Boquete. While there I climbed the tallest mountain in the country – Volcán Barú. The views were wonderful from the top, but starting the 26km hike at midnight is difficult. So to recover I spent time in some natural hot springs just outside of town.

wpid-img_1631-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Costa Rica

San José

Costa Rica has a reputation for being the most expensive country in Central America. From the capital, San José, I took a tour to the top of a volcano before boating along a river to see monkeys, a sloth, caimans, crocodiles and many different types of birds. It was during this tour that Iguana was served for lunch.

wpid-dscf3195-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Liberia

Next I headed north to the city of Liberia from where I visited the beach town of Playa del Coco and a set of waterfalls.

wpid-img_1661-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur

My first stop in Nicaragua was the surf town of San Juan del Sur. A beautiful place to spend a couple of days with bars and beach-front restaurants aplenty. The town even has a statue of Christ atop a hill at the end of the beach.

wpid-dscf3226-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Isla Ometepe

No trip to Nicaragua is complete without catching the ferry across Lake Nicaragua to Ometepe Island with its pair of volcanos. Cruising around the volcanos on a scooter is a lot of fun, visiting beaches, cafés and thermal pools. Both volcanos are climbable and a group of us scaled the largest of the two.

wpid-img_1677-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Granada

Next, I was on a bus to the touristic city of Granada at the northern end of the lake for some amazing food and a visit to yet another volcano, this one spewing smoke from the crater within its crater.

wpid-dscf3308-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

León

Then a quick stop off on the city of Léon to go hurtling down the side of an active volcano on a volcano board.

wpid-dscf3378-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Honduras and El Salvador

With limited time, I set foot only briefly in both countries, mainly at customs on the borders. San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador seemed nice though for the thirty minutes we stopped there for lunch.

Guatemala

Antigua

Most travellers in Central America rave about Guatemala.  I arrived into Antigua to find another touristic city at the base of another volcano. Unlike other parts of Central America, Antigua has a lot of colonial architecture, although after numerous earthquakes over the centuries, many are in ruins.

wpid-dscf3448-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

San Pedro la Laguna

I enjoyed a couple of days in San Pedro la Laguna on Lago Antitla with its thin streets, crazy Tuk Tuk drivers, great small restaurants and amazing lake views.

wpid-dscf3471-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Flores and Tikal

Then after a brief visit back in Antigua, I caught a bus to the north of the country to the island of Flores on Lago de Petén Itzá.

wpid-dscf3654-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Flores is a tourist destination and gateway to the great Maya ruins of Tikal, where I spent several hours exploring.

wpid-dscf3560-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Belize

Caye Caulker

Then on the one year anniversary of my time in Latin America I arrived in Belize, an english speaking country. Staying on the party island of Caye Caulker, I spent some time in the pristine waters snorkelling with Nurse sharks and Eagle Rays, some larger than I am.

wpid-dscf3752-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Mexico

While Mexico is actually in North America I included the southern portions as part of my Central American adventure. From Caye Caulker, I caught a ferry to Chetumal in Mexico and stopped for the night before heading on.

Palenque and Yaxchilán

After an eight-hour bus ride I arrived at the city of Palenque to continue The Maya Ruins Trail I began at Tikal. My first stop was the peaceful ruins of Yaxchilán and its connected site of Bonampak on the Guatemalan Border.

wpid-dscf3863-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Next it was to the Palenque ruins only twenty minutes out of the city.

wpid-dscf3977-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Merida and Uxmal

Four hours north in the Yucatán is Merida, a large and popular touristic city and the nearby ruins of Uxmal and one of its satellite cities, Kabah.

wpid-dscf4011-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Valladolid and Chichén Itzá

Then it was across to the city of Valladolid to see Mexico’s most visited archaeological site, Chichén Itzá, seen by more people every year than Peru’s Macchu Pichu.

wpid-dscf4176-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Tulum

Then it was back to the Caribbean Coastline to the town of Tulum and the Maya fortress of the same name.

wpid-dscf4233-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Cancún and Playa del Carmen

The final distinction in my thirteen month trip through Latin America, Cancún, where I did little more than prepare for my exit from Latin America, but managed a quick visit to the beaches at Playa del Carmen.

wpid-dscf4270-2014-03-25-19-32.jpg

Next, is a well deserved rest from travelling for six months to save and plan a year through Asia.

Adios America Latina,

The World Wanderer.

San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala – Impressions

Four hours west of Antigua is Lake Atitlán, the deepest lake in Central America. It was formed 84,000 years ago when a massive volcano collapsed in on itself. There are still three lava filled mounds running along the southern flank of the picturesque lake as part of Volcano Alley.

wpid-guatemala_westernhighlands-2014-02-15-15-29.gif

Of the dozen communities surrounding the lake, of which Santiago Atitlán is the largest, many are not reachable by road.

wpid-dscf3458-2014-02-15-15-29.jpg

San Pedro la Laguna was the community I chose to visit, but it’s no less touristy than Santiago Atitlán. San Pedro la Laguna has a defined hippy feel to it. Many of the younger locals and long-term visitors not only run art stalls, but in general sport loose-fitting tie-dyed clothing, bare feet, dreadlocks and tattoos. This was due to an influx of ‘hippies’ into the area in the 1960s from the US.

wpid-dscf3482-2014-02-15-15-29.jpg

The streets of San Pedro la Laguna are thin and most don’t accommodate cars or larger vehicles. This leaves the constant sounds of Tuk Tuks and motorbikes zooming about.

wpid-dscf3481-2014-02-15-15-29.jpg

As a quieter means to see some of the sites of the lake I rented a horse and guide…

wpid-dscf3465-2014-02-15-15-29.jpg

We rode for several hours away from the Tuk Tuk horns and the tourists to take in some of the more picturesque sites…

wpid-dscf3469-2014-02-15-15-29.jpg

And of course, no view of the lake would be complete without a volcano in the background… Volcán San Pedro.

wpid-dscf3471-2014-02-15-15-29.jpg

After a couple of days relaxing on the lake, I head back to Antigua to plan my trip north to the township of Flores and the Mayan ruins of Tikal.

The World Wanderer

Antigua, Guatemala – Impressions

Nestled under Volcán de Agua in the Guatemalan highlands is the colonial city of Antigua. The city was once capital of Guatemala but has had a rocky history, literally. In 1717 an earthquake destroyed 3000 buildings, then in 1783 another earthquake decimated more of the city, causing those in power to move the capital to the safer Guatemala City.

wpid-guatemala_westernhighlands-2014-02-11-18-02.gif

Because of its location Antigua is a hub to explore Guatemala, with Guatemala City only 45km to the east, the port of San Jose on the Pacific coast an hour south and Lago Atitlan to the west. For those keen enough, a long shuttle ride to the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal far to the north of the country can be organised.

Volcán de Agua…

wpid-dscf3448-2014-02-11-18-02.jpg

The streets themselves are cobbled. But not the perfect jigsaw of cobbles seen in some modern streets, instead a crazy mash of rounded stones that make driving on them in Tuk Tuks a bumpy experience. The city is flat, however, so unless you’re carrying a lot of baggage or just lazy, walking is the best way to get around.

wpid-dscf3434-2014-02-11-18-02.jpg

Beyond climbing the volcano it’s the scattered colonial buildings and churches that draw the most interest in the city. While some of the old churches survived the earthquakes…

wpid-dscf3420-2014-02-11-18-02.jpg

… some were not so lucky although still usable.

wpid-dscf3413-2014-02-11-18-02.jpg

Those that didn’t fare so well have been cordoned off and for good reason.

wpid-dscf3442-2014-02-11-18-02.jpg

The city does have a touristy feel about to it and because of this it’s more expensive than other places in Guatemala. Around the central park there are many fine restaurants and bars. And for the first time in Central America, a working fountain!

wpid-dscf3424-2014-02-11-18-02.jpg

Next I head west to San Pedro la Laguna on the shores of Lago Atitlan.

The World Wanderer